Much like silos on a farm, “silos” within your business are isolated containers of data-contacts, forms, email, sales data and other information. These silos are disconnected and often contain duplicate information. The goal is to wrap your information into as few interconnected systems as possible-creating efficiencies and accelerating the decision-making process.
Examples of Silos
Your Accounting Software
Many businesses use computer based or online accounting software for bookkeeping purposes. Often, invoices are sent from this system and necessarily it contains customer information. Likewise, many times bills are paid and the company’s books are kept here, and therefore vendor and banking information is kept as well.
Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System
This is normally the central piece of business management software you use every day. Sometimes, it’s specific to your industry-for instance, doctors, lawyers and other professionals often use CRMs that are tailored to their specific type of business and address related concerns, such as HIPAA compliance. Sometimes, the CRM is built into the account software, and most accounting software can even be used as a basic CRM.
Your Web Site
Your web site is the central hub of your online presence. It’s the single “source of truth” that you can control completely. Often, customer data ends up in the web site system in the form of “Contact form” submissions, “Quote requests”, user accounts and other communication. Web sites are typically the most neglected of silos, even though your web site is a new customer’s first contact with your business-“Where the rubber meets the road”, so to speak.
Online Form Builders
Interaction with your market is a critical part of online success. Many businesses choose to interact through online surveys, reviews and other forms shared on Facebook and social media. This is a great way to keep in touch and get a feel for your market, however, if you use a third-party system, you’ve created another data silo that must be dealt-with manually, wasting time and effort. Many people don’t know that forms can be built and shared easily using their current web site, allowing you to increase engagement and control the conversation.
Email and Office
One of the most overlooked sources of inefficiency in a business is email and productivity accounts. Email accounts usually contain vital customer information and more importantly, contacts and calendars that are vital to day-to-day operation.
Your Own PC, Laptop, Tablet or Phone
If you are storing documents, contacts and other data on your devices directly, you’ve created another silo that may not be in sync with everything else in your organization. For instance, downloading mail directly to your device, or storing documents in your “Documents” folder creates inefficiency. Fortunately, Ion Agency can help you get all your devices connected to the cloud, keeping all your documents, contacts and other data in sync. Once you experience the efficiency of having all your systems in sync and up-to-date all the time, where information flows freely between your PC, Phone, Web Site, and even CRM, you will never want to go back to the fragmented way of doing business again. An added benefit-you will never lose data, since it’s encrypted and stored safely in your private cloud.
Get in touch and let us set up a free consultation. There’s no obligation and it could change the trajectory of your business.